Sunday, April 02, 2006
Will the Real Christians Please Stand Up
If the early church believed that war was wrong and that Christians should not participate in the military, why dont most Christians believe that now? How did Christians make peace with the idea of war? John Driver tells the history of the early church from the close of the New Testament through Augustine. He shows how there was a gradual shift in thinking as Christians became involved in the military until they lost their peaceful approach to solving conflict.
I wrote the following note to a friend and thought I'd post it here. I've made a few alterations to make it more readable:
Today I was listening to the right winger Michael Medved's show. He had a Christian guest on who was one of the ones recently rescued from being a hostage in Iraq. Medved and his callers ganged up on this poor guy and accused him for not supporting violence and war and having a twisted sense of good and evil because he was not willing to commit violence against enemies. This guy had this radical and bizarre idea that violence against enemies was "non-Christian", can you believe it? It was the most hysterically funny thing and I wish I could have taped it for you. Here we had a very humble sounding, thoughtful Christian, just back from being captured no less (his friend was the guy who was killed) who simply wanted to follow Jesus and be Christ-like, who was not willing to wage violence against enemies or support violence due to its total contradiction to his Christian faith.
The guy was getting harangued by Christian callers and Medved! It was a perfect example of what I've been going on and on about. Here we had a *real* Christian on a right wing talk show! It was astonishing as one caller quoted some scripture from the book of Joshua about how god commanded the Israelites to kill every living person in a city. The caller was trying to draw a parallel for the current situation, justifying war waging as a Christian ideal or God's will. It was just astonishing. I could not have contrived a better example of what I've been trying to say. The callers in were all Christians and they were unanimous.
It goes to show... you get an *actual* Christian, you know, one who *actually* follows the teachings of Jesus or at least takes them seriously, and you put this guy on a right winged family values talk radio show and he is A-BOMBED!
Christianity in America has become little more than a political ploy.